The Real Deal New York

Cuomo floats plans for Port Authority power grab: report

Proposed legislation would give governor the power to remove and appoint commissioners
December 22, 2016 11:44AM

Andrew Cuomo and Port Authority

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will get new, beefed up powers over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, if proposed legislation doing the rounds in Albany comes to fruition.

Under the proposal, a copy of which was obtained by Politico, the governor would have the power to remove and appoint New York commissioners on the bi-state agency’s board. The governor could remove any New York appointees at his or her discretion without senatorial consent, the document says. The senate must currently approve any appointment changes.

The proposal, dated Sunday, calls for a new inspector general role, who would be appointed by the governor and who would focus on New York issues at the agency. The inspector general would also be a “district attorney” under state law, even though the authority already has an inspector general who can act as a law enforcement officer.

The proposal is part of larger bill that will change New York’s procurement laws. The proposed legislation comes in the wake of Bridgegate and a bid-rigging and bribery scandal that entangled a number of people close to Cuomo.

The governor’s office told Politico, however, that it is no longer interested in the appointment changes. A spokesperson said the draft was “bad information.”

The authority has spent the past few months embroiled in ongoing disagreements about plans to build a new $10 billion bus terminal on Eighth Avenue.

Last month, Cuomo reportedly told the authority’s chairman, John Degnan, that he “could care less” about building the new terminal, referring to it as mainly a New Jersey project.  [Politico]Miriam Hall